- 1. Speedo Men's Surfwalker 3.0 Kayaking Shoes
- 2. Merrell Men's All Out Blaze Aero Kayaking Shoes
- 3. Chaco Women's Flip EcoTread Kayaking Shoes
- 4. Chaco Men's Z2 Classic Sport Sandals
- 5. NeoSport Wetsuits Paddle Low Top Boots
- 6. Stohlquist Men's Tideline Boots
- 7. Kokatat Men's Scout Boot Charcoal
- 8. O'Neill Freaksneak Low Top Boots
- 9. NRS Freestyle Wetshoe
Whether you’re a casual kayaker, or a serious competitive one, the correct gear can make all the difference. In warmer months, you could get away with wearing any type of water or aquatic shoes. However, if you don’t limit your kayaking to just the warmer months, you may need footwear that is a little more protective and insulating for your feet.
If you want to kayak all year round then you need a good pair of kayaking shoes will keep your feet quite warm and also protect them from bumps and scratches. After all, with some of those rapids you need to brace your feet against foot pegs and bulk heads so comfort is also important. The best kayaking shoes are comfortable, warm and protect your feet from your heels to your toes. Check out our selection before you head out on your next white water kayaking adventure.
The Best Kayaking Shoes
Textile with a synthetic sole
Updated speedo water shoe
S-trac outsole offers no-slip grip
Speedo have been making quality gear for water activities for over a century and this Men’s Surfwalker 3.0 Water Shoe is great for getting your feet wet. They offer incredible no-slip grip and they dry fast so you can enjoy kayaking and any other water sport. If you love sports, check out our guide to the best cross training shoes.
Stretch upper allows for pull-on entry and secure fit
Air mesh insert panel allows for faster drying
Lightweight and stretchy for superior comfort
May let in smaller debris like rocks
Made from fabric with a Vibram sole
Lace-up hiking shoe
Breathable mesh and durable synthetic upper
Omni-Fit lacing system
Molded TPU heel counter
Cushioned and protective Unifly midsole
Have fun in and out of the water with these Merrell Men’s All Out Blaze Aero Sport Hiking Water Shoes. These are incredibly comfortable and breathable so feet stay fresh and they are durable enough to hit the hiking trails before jumping into your kayak. Make sure you also check our guide to the best flip flops for women.
Odor-preventing M Select FRESH technologies
Comfort and stability for land and water
May need to check sizing
100% textile & rubber sole
Elite performance and cushioning
Chaco® Mega Z Cloud sandal
Metal ladder lock buckle at ankle
Adjustable, high-tensile heel risers
For the girl who just wants to have fun in the sun, these Chaco Women’s Flip EcoTread Sandals are a must have during the summer months. They are ideal for kayaking and many other water activities and they look cool enough to wear poolside as well. They are so comfortable and durable, they’ll see you through more than one summer. You may also like to check our guide to the best running sandals.
Great arch support
Suitable for plantar fasciitis sufferers
May need to check sizing
100% textile & synthetic sole
Polyester jacquard webbing upper
Toe loop for a secure and customized fit
Adjustable and durable high-tensile webbing heel risers
ChacoGrip rubber outsole with 3.5mm deep lug
If you love getting involved in a lot of water activities, you’ll really love these Chaco Men’s Z2 Classic Sport Sandals. They offer superior grip for when you want to get your feet wet kayaking or simply walking along the shore. The straps are adjustable for a secure fit and the LUVSEAT PU Midsole offers cloudy comfort you will love. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best walking sandals for women.
Comfortable LUVSEAT PU midsole
Adjustable straps for personalized fit
Durable PU Midsole
May feel a little heavy
Made from Neoprene
All seams on upper are glued and sewn for durability
Soft and flexible thermoplastic rubber sole
Sole has integrated hardened insert for puncture resistance
Hook and loop adjustment strap at instep.
Consider these NeoSport Wetsuits Paddle Low Top Boots a second skin when you go kayaking. They are super comfortable and have been designed to keep your feet warm in any weather. They are easy to pull on or off and can be adjusted for a secure fit. Our guide to the best high tops offers more great footwear so check it out.
Soft and comfortable premium neoprene material
Puncture resistant sole
Easy on/Easy off design
Aggressive tread pattern for extra traction
Wetsuit boots designed to keep feet warm
Sizing needs to be checked
Sole may feel a little thin
Made from Neoprene
Ergonomically shaped footbed
Vulcanized rubber outsole
Non-corrosive #10 YKK zipper w/zipper lock
Rubber toe and heel caps for added protection
Don’t let a little cool weather stop you from enjoying kayaking. With these Stohlquist Men’s Tideline Boots, you can get your craft in the water in any weather without your toes feeling frosty. They feature and ergonomically shaped footbed for extra comfort and added protection for your toes and heels. Keep your feet warm and reasonably dry all year round when you venture on the water. For more great waterproof shoes check out our guide to the best Gore-Tex boots.
Added protection for toes and heels
Great waterproof boots
Boots may take on some water
3mm double lined neoprene for warmth and protection
Hook-and-loop instep adjustment strap,
Easy slip-on style
Glued blind stitch construction
Keep your feet safe and secure in these Men’s Scout Boots from Kokatat. They are lined with 3mm double neoprene so your feet stay warm and protected in any aquatic environment. They are easy to slip on and the glue blind stitch construction makes them a very durable boot for kayaking and other water sports. Be sure to also check our guide to the best slippers for men.
Excellent non-slip traction
Protection and stability for toes and heels
Sizing may need checking
FilterTech and fluid foam with rubber outsole
Elastic lacing and slip-on design
Quick drying mesh
O’Neill make some great surf gear and this Freaksneak Low Top Boot is a great piece of protective footwear for when you want to go kayaking or just having fun near water. Comfortable and durable, they will keep your feet secure no matter how rigorous your water activities are.
Great In and Out of the water
Comfortable and durable
Sizing may need to be checked
Stretchy 3-mm Terraprene neoprene
Soft, fleece-like VaporLoft lining
Protective rubber on the toe and heel
Look and feel like a serious kayaker in these NRS Freestyle Wetshoe. These fit like a second, ultra-protective skin with a soft. Fleece lining that keeps your feet nice and warm in any weather. There is also additional protective rubber in the toe and heel areas so you can avoid nasty bumps. These kayak shoes repel water so your feet will stay dry and warm so you can enjoy kayaking all year round.
Helps prevent cold, bruised, battered feet and ankles
Repels water and dries instantly
Strong, flexible and durable
Sizing may need checking
Kayaking Shoes Buying Guide
How We Chose Our Selection Of Kayaking Shoes
Brand - We stay away from cheap imitations because keeping your feet warm and protected in the water is an essential part of kayaking, particularly in colder conditions. That’s’ why we chose kayaking shoes from brands that specialize in water gear like wetsuits. That way you can be sure the shoes will perform when you hit the water.
Reviews - The best people to tell you about the performance of kayaking shoes are kayakers who have already tried the shoes. That’s why we checked the reviews of the kayaking shoes in our selection. Reviews tell us all the great features of these shoes, but they also tell us what to look out for so we can avoid ones that may not be suitable for us.
Price - Everyone should enjoy water sports and other aquatic activities like kayaking, so we checked prices to suit all budgets. Of course, some have more features than others so spending a little more will be worth it. However, you may find the perfect pair of kayaking shoes in our selection without a hefty price tag.
Features To Look For In Kayaking Shoes
Material - No matter whether you like to go kayaking in calmer waters or white water rapids, you can be pretty sure your feet are going to get wet. Materials used to manufacture kayaking shoes should repel water as much as possible and dry fast too. Look for these features, but also ensure the materials are strong enough to protect your feet from bumps and scratches.
Length - Kayaking shoes come in different lengths and the best one for you could be anything from a sneaker type length, to an ankle boot or even longer. It will depend on where you are kayaking and the conditions. The shorter ones may be fine for summer, but the longer ones will keep your feet warmer and more protected in the warmer months.
Fit - Any shoes that take on the water can easily come off and be lost. Look for kayaking shoes that fit snugly and securely without being overly tight. That way you can get your feet as wet as you like, jump off your kayak and pretty much enjoy all the fun and adventure that comes with this great activity.
Sole - When it comes to kayaking you could find yourself bracing your feet on the bulkhead of your kayak, or if you have a sit-in model, you want your feet to fit securely on the foot pedals or rests. The sole needs to be flexible, durable, and non-slip so you stay safe and secure in and out of the water.
Grip - Water, by its very nature, is slippery and if you’re going to get hurt, it will usually be when you’re around water. Getting in and out of your kayak can be hazardous if you have shoes will sleek soles. You want good rubber soles with a traction pattern that offers a good non-slip grip so you can board your kayak or walk around rocks with a minimum risk of injury. For more footwear with these features, check out our list of non-slip shoes.
Warmth - Very few kayaking shoes will keep your feet completely dry, but there are many that will keep your feet warm, much the same way as a wetsuit keeps your warm when you’re diving. If you’re kayaking in warmer weather, this may not be an issue, but if the weather and water are particularly cold, you’ll really appreciate the warm insulation properties found in good quality kayaking shoes.
Waterproof - The materials most kayaking shoes are made of may very well be waterproof or water repellant but that won’t necessarily stop water from getting into your shoes. The main purpose of using waterproof materials is so that your kayaking shoes repel water and dry quickly. Cold, wet feet are painful and uncomfortable so shoes with waterproof materials will go a long way in keeping your feet from becoming overly cold and waterlogged. As many kayaking shoes can be washed by hand or machine washed, waterproofing is also convenient as the shoes will dry a lot faster. This is great when you combine a kayaking and camping trip and want your shoes clean every day.
No matter what type of kayaking shoes you decide is best for you, just make sure they fit well and will protect your feet from extreme cold, sharp rocks, and other debris. The best kayaking shoes will see you through any weather so you don’t have to stop kayaking when the weather gets colder. Better yet, have different kayaking shoes for different weather conditions so you don’t need to completely enclose your feet with boot-style kayaking boots during the hotter months when you want your feet to get wet.
Keep your feet safe, secure, and warm when you go kayaking so that the only memories you take home with you are of the fun and excitement you experienced and not the discomfort you may endure due to wearing the wrong shoes. Pull on your kayaking shoes and put your best foot forward as you explore the many bodies of water around us.